Sunday, July 10, 2016

Buying furniture made in America

In 1996 Canada was the biggest exporter of furniture to the United States. It had overtaken Taiwan. America imported $1 billion worth of furniture from Canada. Taiwan was in 2nd place with exports of $950 million. It was the first time that Taiwan had slipped from its numerouno position since 1983.
In 2015 China exported $13 billion worth of furniture to America. Canada exported $1.25 billion while Taiwan exported $430 million (source Furniture today).

America furniture manufacturing

In 2007 Bassett Furniture Industries, in Bassett, Virginia closed its furniture manufacturing plant in Basset. Prior to that during the mid-20th century this company was one of the largest wood-furniture manufacturers in the world. At one point they employed over 10,000 people across the many plants.  The J. D. Bassett Manufacturing Company, manufactured bedroom and dining-room furniture of a certain class and pricing, and Bassett Superior Lines manufactured less expensive furniture for the family. Several other plants manufactured chairs, tables, and fiberboards.

In 2007 this great company was shutout by cheaper Asian imports. Now they sell imported wood products and only about two hundred plus people are employed. This is the story across America as between 2002 and 2012 over 62,000 American factories shut shop that manufactured every day goods like, shoes, textiles, furniture and other items necessary for the consuming middle class of America. And the effect was felt deeply in Virginia along the stretch of Smith river where more than 19000 Americans lost their manufacturing jobs between 2002 and 2013.

Can you buy American made furniture in 2016?

The answer is a resounding Yes. You can buy American made furniture in large department stores as well as smaller furniture stores as well as online. Furniture now reviews web pages often get letters from satisfied buyers who have bought American manufactured furniture. There is a very small downside though. The lower priced furniture is totally dominated by Asian imports. The mid-range higher end quality furniture is available and well worth the price. The design is quintessential American and for a few hundred dollars more a classic American made sofa can be yours.  Remember this next time you are in the market for furniture. This is how you can do your bit of making America great gain. Buy American made furniture.

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